#BelieveSurvivors Press Release

Moving to End Sexual Assault (MESA), a program of Mental Health Partners (MHP) and the rape crisis center for Boulder and Broomfield Counties, experienced a significant surge in call volume to their 24/7 Sexual Assault Hotline during, and after, the hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh last week. Many of the calls have been from survivors of sexual assault who are calling to report incidents or seek additional help. This upsurge is attributed to the content of the hearings triggering reactions stemming from their personal experience with sexual assault.

“While it is uplifting to see that sexual assault, an issue that is often ignored or marginalized by society, is moving from the shadows and into the public eye, it can be a challenging time for survivors,” said Janine D’Anniballe, Director of Trauma Services at MHP. “The constant focus in the news on this issue can trigger traumatizing memories and reinforce the belief that if they do report the sexual assault, they won’t be believed and they will be mocked.”

In light of this increased focus on sexual assault and accompanying issues, MESA is reminding the community that they are available to provide support and services to all survivors of sexual assault through 24-hour hotline: (303) 443-7300; in-person support, victim advocacy, and specialized support groups.

MESA also hosts a series of drop-in Support Groups for survivors of trauma and those who support them to share their experiences and receive support in a safe, free and confidential space. The drop-in schedule for the next week is:

• Friday, Oct. 5th – 9:00am – 10:30am at MESA, 1455 Dixon Avenue, Suite 210 Lafayette 80026
• Tuesday, Oct. 9th – : 5:30pm – 7:00pm at MESA, 1455 Dixon Avenue, Suite 210 Lafayette 80026
• Wednesday, Oct. 10th: – 9:00am – 10:30am at Ryan Wellness Center, 1000 Alpine Avenue in Boulder (in the Canyon Room)
• Thursday, Oct. 11th – 5:30pm – 7:00pm at Longmont Community Hub, 515 Coffman St in Longmont

All of MESA’s client services are offered in Spanish and English and they do not discriminate against any person based on race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, education, geographic location, age, ability, language, national origin, culture, immigration status, politics, profession, religious beliefs and/or spirituality.

MESA is also holding a “Believe Survivors” rally on the lawn of the Boulder County Courthouse (1433 Pearl St., Boulder) this Thursday, October 4th from 5-6pm. This rally aligns with MESA’s mission to be a vocal and visible community advocate for a society where everyone is safe and free from all forms of sexual violence, provide encouragement to sexual assault survivors who have shared their story, and support survivors wherever they are on their journey.

For more information about the rally, MESA services or reaction to the Kavanaugh hearing, media is encouraged to contact Janine D’Anniballe, Director of Trauma Services at MHP, at (303) 413-6309 or jdanniballe@mhpcolorado.org.

For general questions about MHP, please contact Kristina Shaw, MHP Marketing Director and Public Information Officer, at (303) 545-0840 or kshaw@mhpcolorado.org

About Moving to End Sexual Assault (MESA) :

MESA has served the community since 1972 as the only rape crisis center serving Boulder and Broomfield Counties, Colorado. We believe that every person has the right to live free of sexual assault. We are moving to end sexual assault and the suffering it causes in our community. We challenge all forms of oppression and recognize their connection to sexual violence. Learn more: www.movingtoendsexualassault.org.

About Mental Health Partners:

In alignment with our mission – Healing is our purpose. Help is our promise. Health is our passion. – Mental Health Partners (MHP) provides immediate access to expert mental health and substance use care so people can enjoy healthy and fulfilling lives. MHP is proud to offer MESA as part of its comprehensive list of mental health, addiction recovery and community support programs. For more information or to access services, call (303) 443-8500 or visit www.mhpcolorad.org. For emergency assistance with a mental health crisis, please call 1 (844) 493-TALK (8255), text TALK to 38255 or go directly to our 24/7 Walk-In Center at 3180 Airport Rd., Boulder, CO.